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College Football Preview: A Peek Inside. . . The Pac 12

Pac 12
Top Teams
1. Oregon
2. Stanford
3. Utah
4. Arizona State
5. USC
6. Oregon State
Top Players:
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Chris Polk, TB, Washington
Vontze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Josh Hartigan, DE, Colorado
Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon
Outlook: Two more teams will join the new Pac 12 but that doesn't change who is number one. Oregon has an explosive offense and an underrated secondary led by Cliff Harris, John Boyett and Eddie Pleasent. Stanford returns Andrew Luck and has great support around him. They have a stocked offensive line and a strong secondary led by Delano Howell. Utah is in a tougher conference but that shouldn't change their winning tradition the past few years. Linebacker Chaz Walker, quarterback Jordan Wynn and a strong backfield will make the team a possible Pac 12 champ. With a strong defense Arizona State should have a solid season. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Omar Bolden are both effective. USC is preparing for one of their worst years in recent memory. QB Matt Barkley keeps improving but they have a weak defense and receiving core. Their backfield is also strong led by Dillon Baxter and Marc Tyler. Even without Jacquizz Rodgers Oregon State should have a good year. Wide out James Rodgers gives second-year quarterback Ryan Katz. UCLA has a quarterback competition. Whether Kevin Prince starts or Richard Brehaut starts the result will probably be the same. Even without Jake Locker Washington still has tailback Chris Polk and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. Arizona still has quarterback Nick Foles but lost a lot of talent including end Brooks Reed and back Nic Grigsby. California lost Kevin Riley and Shane Vereen and won't seriously contend. Colorado is improving but even with defensive end Josh Hartigan they won't do much in the tough Pac 12. Washington State won't climb out of the cellar.

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